Kids Eat for Free in Marin

December 19, 2016

kids eat free in marinLike many families these days, we find ourselves grabbing lunch or dinner on the go probably more than we should. Of course all this dining out adds up after a while and has the potential to be a major drain on the wallet. Fortunately, there are plenty of great family-friendly restaurants in Marin that offer free dining for kids—usually with the purchase of an adult entree (and only when dining in)—one or more days during the week.

Here's our list of Marin restaurants with kids-eat-free offers, broken down by location. Please note that all information presented here is, to the best of our knowledge, correct at the time of posting, but deals come and deals go, so you should confirm with the restaurant before you go, just in case.

Mill Valley

High Tech Burrito

118 Strawberry Village
Mill Valley, CA 94941
(415) 388-7002

Kids eat free off the kids' menu at Marin's High Tech Burrito locations on Sundays. hightechburrito.com

Novato

Finnegan's Marin

877 Grant Avenue
Novato 94945
(415) 899-1516

Finnegan's Marin in Old Town Novato offers free dining for kids 12 and under on Sundays for both brunch and dinner, from 10 am to 9 pm. Free soda refills, and crayons and coloring sheets are available. www.finnegansmarin.com

Chevys Fresh Mex

Vintage Oaks
128 Vintage Way
Novato 94945
(415) 898-7345

Kids 10 and under eat free all day on Tuesdays at Chevys in Novato's Vintage Oaks shopping center. Get up to two free meals with purchase of regular price adult entrée. www.chevys.com

10 Fun Outing Ideas for Winter Break

December 18, 2016

Tubing in Tahoe

Winter Break is almost here! While you'll probably spend plenty of time with family and friends for Christmas, you'll also need to keep the little ones occupied, and there are plenty of fun things to do in and around Marin with the kids during their time off! Check out our list of 10 fun family activities and outings, both indoor and outdoor, for winter break.

Join Fraydo the Dragon Club! It’s FREE, EASY and FUN!

December 17, 2016

Fraydo the Dragon

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Little Fire Press, the local publishing house of Fraydo the Dragon: A Very Big Problem!

Fraydo the Dragon: A Very Big Problem! is a new picture book by local author Courtney Aragon. This popular, local favorite has already brought serious giggles and chuckles to children of all ages—from silly to super silly. After all, kids have lots of fun trying to figure out why big, lovable and goofy Fraydo the Dragon thinks he is a DOG!!

Marin Weekend Family Fun for December 16, 17 & 18

December 16, 2016

Mickey Mouse Christmas House MarinwoodVisit the Mickey Mouse House in Marinwood this weekend. It's open nightly from 6–10 pm.

There's also holiday ice skating at numerous locations throughout the Bay Area, opportunities to visit with Santa Claus at local shopping centers, and amazing decorated holiday houses. Also, check out our North Bay Christmas Tree Farms and Lots article.

Friday, December 16

  • Great Dickens Christmas Fair
    Cow Palace, San Francisco
    Friday–Sunday, 10 am–7 pm

    Experience Victorian London with hundreds of costumed players, shops offering one-of-a-kind gifts and Christmas treasures, dining, and pubs. Meet Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, Tiny Tim, Jules Verne, David Copperfield, Charles Darwin, and 700 costumed characters. Of course, Father Christmas himself will be on hand to join in the fun. Purchase tickets here. For more info, visit their website.
  • Top of the Mark Children’s Magical Holiday Tea
    999 California Street at Mason, San Francisco
    Friday & Saturday, noon–4 pm

    Magical Holiday Tea is open to kids and adults of all ages. Guests will enjoy a cookie decorating station, Santa's sleigh in the lobby, Raul the Master Baloonatic, and face painting by Fire Pixie, Bri the Magical Holiday Character, plus a tea-time buffet. Santa will visit on Saturdays, too! $70 per person; $66 with toy donation to the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Drive. Advance reservations required: (415) 616-6941. Location: 999 California Street. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker
    War Memorial Opera House

    Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 2 & 7 pm
    San Francisco Ballet’s awe-inspiring production is like no other, with colorful, larger-than-life scenery, over 200 dazzling costumed characters, and of course Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score performed live by the world-class San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Ticket prices start at $65. For more info, call (415) 865-2000 or visit their website.
  • Marin on Ice
    Northgate Mall, San Rafael
    Friday, 2
    –10 pm, Saturday, noon–10 pm, Sunday, noon–9 pm
    This Saturday, Marin on Ice opens for another season of outdoor ice skating at San Rafael's Northgate Mall, where it runs through January 11. Marin's only holiday ice skating rink features 6,300 square feet of real ice and will be open daily for outdoor skating. Skating is $15 per person, which includes skate rental. Private ice cabanas will also be available for rental and "Skate Buddies" are available for beginners. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Snowman: A Holiday Film with the San Francisco Symphony
    San Francisco Symphony, Davies Hall
    Friday, 4 pm, Saturday, 2 pm & Sunday, 11 am & 2 pm

    On a cold December night, a young boy builds a snowman that magically comes to life. The two go on an enchanted adventure, soaring through the sky, making new friends, and meeting Santa Claus himself. It all happens in the Academy Award-nominated short film, The Snowman. Take part in this extraordinary tale of friendship as the movie is projected on the big screen and the SF Symphony performs the score live. Also on the program, jazzy Christmas hits with vocalist Ruthie Ann Miles, the Pacific Boychoir, and the Symphony. Tickets $15 and up; 17 and under half-price. For more info, visit their website.
  • Napa Valley Wine Train Santa Trains
    Napa
    Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 5 & 8 pm

    Napa Valley Wine Trains' Santa Express Trains are a magical experience for the whole family. Santa and some special friends will be on board, of course. Tickets do sell out very early, so check for availablity at (800) 427-4124. Tickets start at $55 per person. Refreshments available for purchase on board. More information

Four Easy Waterfall Hikes for Families in Marin

December 16, 2016

Fairway waterfall Novato

One of the things I love most about winter in Marin is being able to hike to a beautiful waterfall, and when it rains families have many to choose from. The waterfalls in our list here all involve hikes of varying length, and all are perfect destinations for a family outdoor outing. There's something for hikers of every ability here.

Easy Holiday Recipe: Peppermint Bark

December 15, 2016

peppermint barkIn my opinion, peppermint should be the official flavor of the holiday season! This white chocolate peppermint bark candy is a holiday staple in our house, and is quick, delicious, and kid-approved. My kids love the fact that smashing up candy canes is part of this recipe.

Peppermint bark is really easy to make, and doesn't mess the kitchen up nearly as much as making cookies does. Feel free to omit the nuts or mix in something else that you think would be tasty. My mom makes hers with both the almonds and dried cranberries.

Ingredients

Holiday Family Fun at Bay Area Museums

December 13, 2016

Exploratorium hands-on fun museumHave fun at the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s iceless skating rink this holiday season. Photo: Bay Area Discovery Museum

The holidays are a perfect time for a family visit to a museum, where you can both have fun and learn something indoors. Many local San Francisco Bay Area museums offer fun holiday-themed programs, including hands-on activities, special exhibits, and more. You'll even find ice skating and real live reindeer! Here are six of our favorite local museums worth visiting with the kiddos this holiday season.

Bay Area Discovery Museum

During the holiday season, family favorite the Bay Area Discovery Museum offers a synthetic "iceless" skating rink for all the fun of ice skating without the cold and icy falls. They'll also hold a Noon Year's Eve party from 9 am–2 pm on December 31 with a noontime ball drop, music by DJ ManCub, and more. Location: Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito, 94965. www.bayareadiscoverymuseum.org

Get Your Tickets for San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker

December 13, 2016

San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker

December is here, and for many families, the holidays won't be complete without attending a performance of San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker. Experience 200 costumed characters, dazzling scenery, Tchaikovsky's beautiful score performed live by the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and the opulence of the War Memorial Opera House decorated for Christmas. Tickets to this time-honored holiday tradition are going fast!

Christmas in Marinwood: The Nisja Bear's House

December 13, 2016

the Nisja's Bear's House in Marinwood

Marin is home to many communities that really go above and beyond the call of duty when getting into the holiday spirit, and of all the places in the county I think Marinwood, the neighborhood sandwiched between Novato and San Rafael, has the most decorated holiday houses per capita!

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